Maryland’s health department is adopting new regulations requiring licenses for surgical abortion clinics for the first time.
The new regulations announced Friday apply to about 20 clinics and are a response to a 2010 incident in which a woman needed emergency surgery after an abortion performed by an unlicensed doctor at an Elkton clinic.
Clinics that routinely perform surgical abortions and are not regulated by the state must now obtain a license. To do so, they must meet anesthesia, emergency, laboratory and radiologic service requirements adapted from regulations for ambulatory surgical centers.
The department says abortions have been regulated in the state in the same way as other medical procedures and have had to be performed by a licensed physician.
The new regulations go into effect July 23.